Nyenrode Case Study
Neuroleadership Masterclass: Decision-making for Leaders
Nyenrode Business University is a prestigious Dutch private university that offers a wide range of educational services from bachelors, masters, MBAs, and PhDs to executive programs. For their 2-Day Neuroleadership Masterclass, they asked us to be speakers next to leading scientists like Erik Scherder and Edgar Karssing.
Over the next two years, Philip Jordanov and Beirem Ben Barrah gave our masterclass ‘Decision-making under stress and uncertainty’ multiple times to a widely varying audiences. From hospital directors and C-suite executives to politicians and the Royal Police.
“The Neuroleadership masterclass gave me many new insights that I surely incorporate in our leadership programs. Interesting insights into our brain and because of the energetic speakers an absolute recommendation.”
– Annita Euwijk, Founder @ Use Your Talents
Nyenrode noticed how insights from behavioral psychology and neuroscience reshaped many aspects of leadership development. They started the Neuroleadership Masterclass with the goal of making business executives more effective by teaching them the fundamentals of our brain and behavior.
Our focus was on teaching how humans tend to make decisions and how leaders can improve their reliability, especially under stress and uncertainty. We combined insights from behavioral economics, cognitive psychology, and neuroscience to design a 2.5 hour masterclass, which we refined over time.
Neuroleadership Masterclass Approach
When designing a leadership development training, you start with the learning goals. We defined them as:
- Teaching the fundamental theory for truly understanding decision-making
- Sharing practical examples so they can gain real-life experience
- Collaborating on interactive exercises so they can apply behavioral insights
Then we looked for the biggest scientific breakthroughs that support these goals and combined them with interventions that have been field-tested in teams and organizations. This resulted in a proper overview of training topics and flow.
The training answered questions like:
- How rational are we?
- How do we make decisions?
- Which biases affect our decisions?
- When can you trust your intuition?
- How do you improve your decision-making process?
We want to thank Prof. Dr. Edgar Karssing for his time and mental effort when providing us with in-depth feedback and ideas on how to make this training even more valuable for leaders. You are highly appreciated.
“This practical and inspiring neuroleadership masterclass helped me to better recognize the various cognitive biases that influence our decision-making process.”
– Bruno Stockman, Life Sciences Consultant
The 2.5 hour neuroleadership masterclass was filled with concepts like System 1&2, predictably irrational, pattern recognition, and choice architecture. We also discussed the impact of many cognitive biases (systematic thinking patterns) on our decision-making.
To effectively apply what they learned, we taught the executives behaviorally informed interventions on how to improve decision-making, particularly in groups. Feedback showed that they found these especially insightful and we have since greatly expanded our collection of decision-making interventions.
Both the audience and Prof. Dr. Edgar Karssing, who led the 2-day masterclass, were very satisfied. As a result, we became standard speakers in the Neuroleadership Masterclass and got to speak with many insightful people.
This experience helped us better adapt brain and behavior insights to leadership development and process optimizations for all our clients.